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tv   Martin Bashir  MSNBC  September 9, 2013 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT

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good afternoon, monday, september 9th and the commander in chief is trying to persuade a reluctant nation. >> the united states should take military action. jts even though you've seen the bodies. >> how can you talk about what happened if you don't have evidence? >> assad has barely put a debit in his enormous stockpile. >> nobody doubts the intelligence. >> there is video for people to measure for themselves. >> what does it for america? no political gain, no economic gain, no good reputation. >> having a few missiles will not restore our credibility. >> i don't think we're going to do anything to assad. >> the minute one of those cruise missiles lands, we are in the war. >> just because he's a murderous tyrant doesn't make it better. >> i wish he was more of a
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commander in chief than a community organizer. >> what does that mean? >> this is not fantasy land. >> everything is on the blink of explosion. >> stand up for the kind of world we want to live in. ♪ >> from washington to london, from moscow to damascus, political leaders around the world are focused on the plight of syria and the use of chemical weapons and the president will sit down for no less than six television interviews as he continues to seek support for military intervention. these interviews follow a weekend full of phone calls, discussions and a dinner at the vice president's residence, all of which will culminate in the president's address to the nation at 9:00 p.m. eastern tomorrow night. and to drive home the administration's call for action, the white house released
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more graphic footage, and we warn you, it is difficult to watch. purportedly, of the august 21st attacks, when it's alleged that president assad used chemical weapons to kill almost 1,500 of his own people. we should add that these images have not been independently verified by nbc news, but they stirred the secretary of state in london this morning and the national security adviser in washington this afternoon to argue that the actions of assad cannot be allowed to go unpunished. >> if one party believes that he can rub out countless numbers of his own citizens with impunity, he will never come to a negotiating table. >> failing to respond to the use of chemical weapons risks opening the door to other weapons of mass destruction. and emboldening the mad men who would use them. >> and while the latest polls indicate the american public growing more skeptical of the
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need for strikes, secretary kerry also laid out the one way assad could avoid such an attack. >> is there anything at this point that his government could do or offer that would stop an attack? >>. >> sure. he could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week. turn it over. all of it. >> that statement, which the state department later described as, quote, rhetorical, may have had some kind of impact. because it was just a short time later that the russian foreign minister announced that he has asked the syrian president to put all of his nation's chemical weapons under international control so that they could be destroyed. it's a plan kerry's predecessor, hillary clinton, just a short time ago indicated could be a way forward. noting that to do nothing in response to this attack would be the worst possible reaction.
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>> the broader conflict in syria is a threat to regional stability and security of our allies and partners. as well as a humanitarian catastrophe. >> and let's get right to our panel now. joy reid is with me, editor of the grio.com and msnbc political analyst. and john harwood who covers washington for cnbc and the "new york times." john, can you tell us about this deal that the russians are proposing? is it serious, or do you think it sounds like something that was cooked up between messrs. assad and putin over the course of the last 24 hours? >> very hard to sort that out. and it's also hard to sort out, martin, whether or not secretary kerry's remarks were orchestrated or accidental. certainly given the administration's performance over the next couple weeks, you could see him stumbling into that by accident.
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but i've had some reaction from experts saying this is worth testing if you could get a credible inspection regime and credible set of steps that would allow the administration and the russians to say that something real had happened with the transfer of these weapons. that could be a way out that the administration would love to take advantage of, and jay carney's remarks at the press briefing a couple hours ago indicated that they seemed to be at least consistent with the possibility of the white house declaring victory on the threat of the use of force. and yet, john, that's in direct contradiction to what president assad said in his interview with cbs, where he simply dismissed the very notion of chemical weapons. >> yes. but nobody believes him. and i think the -- certainly the evidence is very strong that chemical weapons were used. it is less strong that he directly caused them to be used in this instance. but i think the idea that the russians would step forward,
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that the syrians would then say we welcome what the russians have done, that would seem to undercut any notion that assad was denying the existence of the weapons in the first place. >> okay. joy, harry reid has just made a hard sell of his own on the senate floor. i would like you to listen to what he had to say. take a listen. >> world war ii, 6 million jews and tens of thousands of gypsies, disabled people, gay people and political dissidents were murdered. never again. now we're faced with that choice again. >> and yet, joy, despite that, several news organization vote counts have the president losing the house. north dakota's heidi height camp said she opposes strikes. do you think it's too late for the administration to try and win this? >> i actually think it was going to be difficult no matter when they started or how they started. and the reason i say that, martin, the distorting effect of
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the invasion of iraq i think is still with us and lingers. >> it's overwhelming. >> it is overwhelming and the fact that case was so flawed, so false, and the american people have become so cynical about any case for war in that region or case for action, because this is not iraq. let's be honest. this is a lot more like the case like kosovo in the 1990s than iraq. however, the distorting effect of iraq and the dampening effect it's had on americans since adventurism and not want to go get involved in these conflicts is overwhelming. and i think this was always going to be a hard sell. as was kosovo, by the way. >> indeed. john, even the coalition of those in favor of strikes appears to be fraying a little bit. john kerry today said the strikes would be an unbelievably small, limited kind of effort, his words. and comes -- senator john mccain comes out and didn't like that characterization. he tweeted, kerry says syria's strike would be unbelievably small. that is unbelievably unhelpful.
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i have to ask you, john, doesn't this language actually undermine the very strategy that they're trying to sell? >> it absolutely does. and it is not helpful to the john mccain caucus, especially, which wants more than the administration is talking about. i can tell you, john mccain caucus is quite small. it may be he and lindsey graham and a small number of other people. but there is a fundamental contradiction at the heart of the selling of this plan. the idea that we're going to do something strong that will make an impression, that will degrade his ability to use chemical weapons in the future. but it's going to be really, really small and really, really short. that's what makes it difficult. and that's what makes this way out attractive, if they can find a way to make that credible. >> yeah. joy, final question to you. what does the president have to say to move the needle on this? because the public are fairly fixed in their position? >> absolutely. and i think the administration missed an opportunity to characterize this by putting in the context of the arab spring.
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because the reality is, bashar assad watched three governments fall from january 2011. >> and saw brutal military dictators in many cases lose their power. >> tunisia and after that egypt and after that in libya. even after the brutality meaded out by the libyan dictator, gadhafi. he is trying to not allow the arab spring to wash over syria and has done so in the most brutal and horrific fashion. without that context, you're left with iraq. he needs to put it back in that context. >> joy reid and john harwood, thank you both so much for joining us this afternoon. coming up from iran and israel to future of al qaeda. more on the global stakes of the syrian strategy, straight ahead. stay with us. ♪ riders on the storm ♪ ♪ into this house were born ♪ into this world were throne
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do you consider chemical warfare equivalent to nuclear warfare? >> i don't know. we haven't tried either. >> i know. but you're head of state and you understand the consequences of those that don't discriminate beyond -- >> yeah, technically, they're not the same. but morally they're the same. >> morally, they're the same. >> killing is killing. >> that was syria's president, al assad, in an interview that aired this morning, where he appeared to noncha landly shrug off the killing of thousands of innocent civilians, including children. and in addition to denying the claims of the u.s. government, most of the world, save russia, that it was his government behind a chemical weapons attack last month. mr. assad went on to threaten
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the united states with severe retaliation if it launched air strikes against his nation. >> nobody can tell what the repercussion of the first strike you're talking about one region. it's not only about syria. it's interlinked region. it's intermingled, interlocked, whatever you want to call it. if you strike somewhere, you have to expect repercussions somewhere else in different forms. >> for more now, i'm pleased to say we're joined by managing editor of syria deeply, and senior fellow for middle eastern studies on the council of foreign relations, steven a. cook. thank you both for joining us. steve, if i can start with you, president assad is suggesting that there will be repercussions from others in the region if america launches air strikes. do you believe that any of assad's allies would take military action on his behalf? >> well, it's certainly within the range of possibilities, that we would see some sort of
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retaliation on the part of hezbollah striking either at the israelis or american interests, either in the middle east or around the globe. remember, hezbollah was once described as the a-team of international terrorism and truly does have a global reach. so i think that, you know, assad's interview this morning was a lot of bluster. but there are certain consequences of an american military action that certainly should be given consideration. >> okay. laura, you, i know, will be interviewing the secretary of state tomorrow. here's what mr. kerry said in london earlier today. take a listen to this. >> a very limited, very targeted, very short-term effort that degrades his capacity to deliver chemical weapons. without assuming responsibility for syria's civil war. that is exactly what we're talking about doing. unbelievably small, limited kind of effort.
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>> unbelievably small and limited. laura, you've spent time in syria. isn't the secretary of state in danger of undermining the effect of his own strategy by putting it in those terms? >> absolutely. given the fact we're now in a place where even the threat of the u.s. strike on syria has changed the situation in syria. it's changed the dynamics on the ground. and what you hear so many analysts who know syria well describe, is this need to rebalance the situation in syria. that you had an assad regime that felt totally comfortable doing whatever it takes, scorching earth and scores of people to stay in power. there needs to be a check on that assad regime. that kind of language that minimizes what's going to happen, what's going to come of this at the end of the day undermines the u.s. capacity to balance that out. >> and yet the secretary of state is mindful his president can't win support if he goes full out and suggests that america is going to do anything more than a very limited strike. >> so you have two very big games at play. you've got this geopolitical
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game of chicken, the u.s. versus russia and iran and the u.s. trying to speak to two different segments of the global population. the assad regime and russia and domestic operation that doesn't want a significant operation. >> right. steve, you wrote a piece in january 2012, where you said and i'm quoting you, if the international community wants to see the end of the assad regime, as virtually everyone claims, then it's likely going to require outside intervention. now that was at a point when assad had slaughtered, and i don't mean this insultingly, but only 5,000 of his own people. >> that's right. >> so my question is, both why did it take so long for others to come round to your point of view and is a limited action enough to achieve what laura has just suggested needs to happen? >> well, it is striking that it's taken two-and-a-half years and ultimately the use of chemical weapons to bring the international community around to this point. anybody who knew anything about
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syria at that time understood that assad was going to try to kill his way out of the political problem that what was then an uprising against a brutal dictatorship would present. so now, however, we have an infinitely more difficult situation in syria. and what the administration is proposing is likely not to alter the balance of power on the battlefield. and as a result, the united states would be getting itself involved in a conflict, making itself a party to a conflict, without very much on the upside given what they're proposing to do. >> laura sesstrakian and steve cook. coming up, the outgoing mayor accuses one possible successor of playing the race card. my name is lee kaufman. married to morty kaufman. [ lee ] now that i'm getting older some things are harder to do. this is not a safe thing to do.
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be careful babe. there should be some way to make it easier [ doorbell rings ] let's open it up and see what's cookin'. oh i like that. look at this it's got a handle on it. i don't have to climb up. this yellow part up here really catches a lot of the dust. did you notice how clean it looks? morty are you listening? morty? [ morty ] i'm listening! i want you to know
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an update now on the new
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york city mayoral race with the democratic primary less than 24 hours away. new polling shows bill de blass oholding a double digit lead ahead of bill thompson and christine quinn. meanwhile, mayor bloomberg is not going quietly. he describes campaign tactics as class warfare and racist. the mayor was referring to political ads that feature members of mr. de blassio's family, including his african-american wife and 16-year-old son. when asked to further explain his comments, bloomberg added, well, no, no, i mean, he's making an appeal using his family to gain support. i think it's pretty obvious to anyone watching what he's been doing. i do not think he himself is racist. it's comparable to me pointing out i'm jewish in attracting the jewish vote. mr. de blasio, your thoughts. >> i hope the mayor will
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reconsider what he said. i hope he'll realize it was inappropriate. >> joining us now is "washington post" columnist and msnbc contributor, jonathan cape hart. john, you worked with mr. bloomberg when he first ran for mayor. is there an element of hypocrisy in his accusations against mr. de blasio who has used his own family as part of his complain artillery? >> i think what the mayor is trying to do is clean it up in what he said in the statement that you read just a second ago. look, i think if he had to do it over again, i think the mayor is probably trying to say racial appeal as opposed to -- de blasio's campaign was making a racial appeal as opposed to racist. >> but snlts that exactly what mr. bloomberg did? >> what i was going to say is, but so what? bill de blassio is guilty of doing something that mayor bloomberg did in his first campaign for mayor. i put in the piece i wrote today, his own mother, beloved
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late mother, was in campaign literature, campaigned at least one senior center in 2001. so de blasio is doing what politicians all over the country do all of the time. work with their families, use their families to help humanize them. >> right. so mr. bloomberg is a racist by his own terms. he also condemned de blasio's assessment of new york as being a tale of two cities. but when mr. bloomberg says we should be glad that billionaire russian oligarchs come and fund, isn't he missing that workers don't want charity, they want a reasonable wage. that's why they have been protesting outside fast food restaurants. this kind of victim hood analysis isn't the right one. it's not accurate, is it? >> no. it plays into the meme he is a billionaire who is completely out of touch with the people he has been governing for the last 12 years. especially in a city where
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income and equality is the greatest of anywhere else in the country. >> right. jonathan capepart of "the washington post". >> thanks. since his acquittal on a murder charge of the shooting of trayvon martin, george zimmerman has had some difficulty escaping the spotlight. once he apparently played good samaritan, helping pluck two children from an overturned vehicle after an accident. twice mr. zimmerman has been stopped by police, for driving infractions, earning a speeding ticket and a warning. last week, his wife shellie zimmerman went public with her divorce filing in a high-profile television interview. today in florida, post the most serious post acquittal incident. police in lake mary say they are investigating a, quote, possible domestic battery incident involving zimmerman this afternoon. according to a police source, a call was placed to 911 from the home of shellie's father. with the caller describing some
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type of argument involving zimmerman in which he allegedly put his hand on a gun, and then made a threat. there was an altercation, according to that same police source, and shellie zimmerman's father was physically struck. at this point, authorities do not know if zimmerman will be charged. we'll bring you more information as we get it. stay with us. the day's top lines are coming up. i woke up to a blistering on my shoulder. the blisters were oozing, and painful to touch. i spent 23 years as a deputy united states marshal and i've been pretty well banged up but the worst pain i've experienced was when i had shingles. when i went to the clinic, the nurse told me that it was a result of having had chickenpox.
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>> bon jour, everyone. don't worry. everything is bold. [ speaking in french ] >> it helps, of course, if kerry speaks good french, i guess. >> the president is taking his case directly to the american public over the next couple days. >> i just wish the president had laid this out better. >> series of interviews with the networks, a speech to the nation. he's going to be talking to members of congress. >> i wish he was more of a commander in chief than community organizer. >> how worried are they? >> very worried. >> this is an uphill climb. >> if you look at this public relations campaign that's gone on over the last 48 hours -- >> nobody is rebutting the intelligence. nobody doubts the intelligence. >> denis mcdonough doing what he did yesterday. >> president obama's chief of staff, dennis mcdonough, appeared on all five sunday news shows. >> obama's presidency hangs in the balance. his second term. >> the president doing all these interviews today. >> this afternoon, president obama will appear in six television interviews. >> then the speech to the nation tomorrow. >> big speeches rarely move
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public opinion on something as pro found as this. >> the united states congress and the president on not addressing the issues that the american people care most about. >> only thing that helps white house case is explaining how strikes would improve situation. >> the problem is, the military measures they're considering are unlikely to achieve a political purpose. >> i believe what the white house is saying. the question is, how do we address that issue? >> indeed. and let's get right to our panel to do so. joining us now is msnbc contributor, goldy taylor, and "washington post" political columnist, dana millbank. if i might start with you, goldy, the administration, as we know, is putting on an enormous pr blitz, as we have just seen. but i don't hear much from them about why in specific terms a limited missile strike would work in this case. have you heard that argument? >> no, of course not. and that's been the real issue here. i think this white house has
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made some missteps on a number of accounts. and number one, they could have made days upon days ago the case to the american people and not just to this congress. why we need to get involved in syria. and secondly, make the case about what kind of strike they would like to make, and how that will be effective in terms of destroying capability. sort of degrading, you know, the cache of chemical weapons out there. they did not make that case early and now they're making it on the back end. and i'm afraid that we may be a bit too late for that. number one, the american public is war wary. two, they look upon the arab spring as something that didn't work. the middle east as something that does not work. and frankly not looking at the problems beyond our shore at the moment. and then a congress who traditionally does not vote along with this president. and they're listening to the constituents back home. and so the white house has a real problem here that they are answering these issues on the back end, when frankly, they should have come out with a stronger argument days upon days
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ago. >> well, the argument is continuing. dana, we heard today from the former secretary of state, hillary clinton. i'd like to you listen to what she had to say. >> the assad regimes inhuman use of mass destruction against innocent men, women and children, violates a universal norm at the heart of our global order. and therefore, it demands a strong response from the international community, led by the united states. >> now, again, dana, there is a generalized explanation of the abhorrent assad regime but no explanation about why air strikes are the solution. and we just heard general mccaffrey say the military measures being proposed, he thinks they're unlikely to achieve the desired political purpose. >> right. i think if you take a step back, you can say that no matter what case the administration was making, things are just so dysfunctional in this congress, they may have overestimated the
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congress's ability to do anything important, even something such as a war. but we're in this situation that we're in now, and i think they have done a better case of laying out what actually happened there with the chemical weapons. i don't think among the detracto detractors, people opposed to an attack, you're hearing them say they don't believe the evidence. they do believe that. what they are asking, what are we going to do about it? and the problem is, you're getting at least in these open public sessions here, they're saying, well, that's classified, we'll talk to you about that behind closed doors. that's not a very satisfying answer for the american public to say just go along with us on these attacks, and, you know, we've got it all under control, this will really be effective. we can't tell you what we're doing, but just trust us. there's -- you know, ten years ago, we learned not to do that. >> yeah, we did. goldy, do you think the reason people are not on board is because they may think that there are more important things that need addressing here at home?
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and i reflected today on bill keller's column in the "new york times," our new isolationism. that frankly, people are more concerned about domestic issues than they are the implications of foreign policy. >> i think you're right about that. frankly, i am hearing it from many more quarters than we've ever heard it before. you've got people on the right and the left talking about what we need to do here domestically. they're looking at the calamity unfolding on the streets of our cities today. they're looking at our unemployment rate. they're looking at, you know, needing jobs, needing meaningful wages. and so people are really sort of closing ranks around what's happening here at home. and we haven't really drawn the connect between why we would be so interested, so heavily vested in what happens in syria and why this particular red line holding up this particular global norm is the right thing to do. and why we've got the money for this war, the money for this strike, but say we don't have
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money for education, we don't have money to put more police on the street. we don't have more money to solve some of the real critical ills we have here at home. so, yes, i've heard a lot more of that. and i think because of that talk, you're seeing a bigger push by this white house and by this full administration really on making this case. >> yeah. and dana, when we look at these horrendous videos of president assad's victims, i mean, the evidence, if these are accurate, and we haven't been able to verify them independently, but if they're accurate, they are horrifying. so does this mean that perhaps -- i don't know, have we become less sensitive to this kind of disaster? >> i don't think that's necessarily true, and i'm not sure i agree that from there is new isolationism in america. i think this is a particular case and if americans felt that, look, i think americans do generally accept that what they're seeing in those photos is what actually happened, but they haven't necessarily accepted that we have a solution here that we can make this
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situation better. and there's a lot of concern that it could, in fact, make the situation worse. so the -- in that case, the administration is essentially arguing we need to respond in some way, just so people take us seriously in the future. well, that's a very difficult argument to make. it may be true. i think if it carries some weight. but it's a very difficult argument to make for beginning military conflict. >> indeed. dana millbank of the "washington post" slapping down the "new york times" and goldy taylor, thank you so much. >> thank you. coming up, a commander in chief moment. the president gets ready to take his case directly to the american people in prime time. ♪ ♪ unh ♪ ♪ hey! ♪ ♪ let's go! ♪ [ male announcer ] you can choose to blend in. ♪
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freedom and in defense of peace in southeast asia. >> grenada, we were told, was a friendly island paradise for tourism. well, it wasn't. it was a soviet cuban colony to export terror and undermine democracy. we got there just in time. >> i am convinced that the dangers of acting are far outweight by the dangers of not acting. dangers to defenseless people and to our national interests. >> we are now acting, because the risks of inaction would be far greater. >> four presidents requesting the support of the nation for the purpose of military action. and tomorrow night, the current commander in chief will try to persuade a reluctant and war-weary nation they too should support their president in his plan for military action against sear yeah. i'm joined by clarence page. clarence, i'm not going to be
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indiscreet about your wisdom and your age. but you have witnessed several presidents making an appeal to the nation previously. but isn't this particular president undermined profoundly by the most recent military interventions in iraq and afghanistan? >> yes, he is. and i don't mind mentioning i was addressed in drafted into t war that president johnson was talking about there so i have a sense of dejavu when i hear presidents talk about we must act because the risk of enacting or inaction is much greater. that's the case that president obama has to make. and i don't think americans at this point are convinced of that. back in the days when we were fighting the commies, the world communist conspiracy efforts, that was the universal solvent as far as public opinion was concerned. as far as syria, we're talking about human rights concern, the case being made over and over again by president obama and the
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rest of his team is we need to go in there so we can -- we can stop the atrocities that bashir -- that assad has been committing. with chemical weapons. and send a message to the rest of the world. that's an important message. but i think he has to make the case this will be a limited strike and that it's really going to do some good. that i haven't heard yet. >> yeah. and there's no doubt, clarence, the president has an uphill struggle when he makes his prime time address tomorrow. the latest pugh usa today poll shows nearly two-thirds oppose air strikes in ear i can't. how does this president move the nation from a position of reluctance and skepticism to faith in his proposal? >> i suspect he has to make -- have an approach somewhat like president clinton, going into kosovo or himself going into libya. where we were talking here in both cases about limited strikes from the air, no boots on the
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ground, that are involved in changing the equation in favor of the people, if you will, and against tyrants. that's the case that has to be made. >> and do you think that the russians today may have inadvertently given the president some help by asking assad to put his chemical weapons under international oversight and control, or do you think this may just be playing for time by assad? >> it's hard to say, but certainly putin has got to step up one way or the other. by standing in the way of a united nations resolution, on behalf of some action against assad, he's lining up with assad, and with the kind of atrocities we have seen and heard about here with poison gas being dropped in the suburbs of damascus. putin has to make some kind of measure, and i think that's
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probably what we're seeing here, to try to ratchet things down, so that it doesn't -- escalate into some kind of an international combat. >> clarence page, thank you for your contribution and thank you, sir, for your service. >> thank you, martin. and an update on the investigation involving george zimmerman today in florida. police in lake mary say that zimmerman is free to go, and that the fire department physically -- and that no one had any visible marks, so there was no required medical treatment. police did, however, take zimmerman's gun. we will bring you updates as we get them. coming up, a member of congress still on the fence on syria, just out of a briefing, joins us straight ahead. stay with us. ♪ [ male announcer ] 1.21 gigawatts. today, that's easy. ge is revolutionizing power. supercharging turbines with advanced hardware and innovative software. using data predictively to help power entire cities. so the turbines of today...
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it's time now to clear the air. and the presidency in peril is a narrative and a storyline that republicans have been trying to sell from the moment the current occupant won the white house in
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2008. and they really haven't been that bothered if their shots against him have also injured the nation along the way. look what happened during the debt ceiling debacle of two years ago. consumer confidence collapsed, according to gallup, and the effect on employment was also severe. both provoked by an unnecessary attempt to harm the president by using the debt ceiling. but you know, the one area that republicans have tended to avoid has been foreign policy. after all, this is a president who voted against the iraq war. he's led the nation's withdrawal from iraq and soon afghanistan. and on the eve of our 12th remembrance of 9/11, it's worth repeating that osama bin laden's body lies at the bottom of the north arabian sea. so it really is quite the turn of events that it should be foreign policy and syria in particular that may offer
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republicans their best chance of injuring this president, perhaps even inflicting a fatal wound. because they know that if his red line means nothing in practice, then the world will treat this nation's future protestantations with scorn. it will mean that any warnings to iran about its nuclear ambitions will be treated like a dog with all bark and no bite. as one writer put it at the weekend, american foreign policy will be in the hands of a president whose promises will ring consistently hollow, and whose ability to make good on his strategic commitments will be very much in doubt. if that happens, it will be congratulations to the republicans, but come missrations to the nation. we'll be right back. la's known definitely for its traffic, congestion, for the smog.
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on the authorization of force against syria, they will have heard arguments directly from the president, the secretary of state, even from the syrian president himself. they'll have seen the evidence, heard the reasons for and against, and will ultimately have to make a decision. joining us now is one of those members of congress who will be faced with that decision, representative steve horsefit, a democrat from nevada. >> good afternoon. >> you have rushed to our cameras, you have just been in a classified briefing. can you give us your i guess immediate response to what you have heard and whether it has affected your judgment, your opinion, about what this nation should do in relation to syria? >> well, the briefing i just left was with the national security adviser, susan rice. the president did step into the briefing, and answered a number of questions from members from the congressional black caucus. and i'm looking forward to the
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president making his case to the american people tomorrow, continuing to answer the questions that i and many of my constituents have as to why this is in our national interest, to do this strike. >> so, sir, you just said the president himself came into this meeting. >> yes. >> were you able -- were you able to question him? >> yes. a number of the members offered questions to the president, as well as the national security adviser. you know, this is a very serious issue, and one that the president, his national security team, and the members of congress take very seriously. i myself as a new member, this is the first time that i'll have to vote on such a serious issue as military action in this case. >> now, i don't want you to breach any kind of confidentiality. but what are your specific concerns about authorizing a military strike, or, indeed, are you in support of the president's strategy? >> well, i'm still undecided.
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>> you're undecided. >> the three concerns i have, first, why is there not more of a multinational coalition of partners. why is it the united states has been asked to act alone. secondly, what are the costs of this strike. and is the united states expected to cover those costs alone, or are there others who will share in that expense, particularly because of the budget constraints we are under as a nation. and third, what will happen and what are our objectives following a strike? the underlying issue in syria is a civil war. and that's not going to be resolved through the use of a strike alone. >> and so, sir, given those are your three concerns, were any of those three concerns answered at the briefing you've just been at? >> we continued to get responses to questions that are being posed. the three questions and concerns i have are questions that i'm
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looking forward to the president addressing in his -- address to the nation tomorrow. and that i hope that the congress will continue to debate, and deliberate before any final decision is reached. >> so you're saying that you're waiting for the president when he speaks publicly. so therefore, we muddy deuce you are not satisfied with what you heard at the briefing. >> well, one of my concerns is that of the majority of my constituents who have called my office, sent me e-mails, and who continue to ask the question, why is it that the united states has to act alone. yes, what has occurred in syria is a travesty. the fact that 1,400 people have died, 500 kids nearly, they have been gassed while they were sleeping at night. that is a moral issue that all of us must take concern to.
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but the reality still is there, why is the united states being asked to act alone, and what is it that's in our national interest? we are a strong nation and we're not going to tolerate these chemical weapons. but why is it that the international community is not engaged, as well? >> you know, sir, the french president is supporting the president of the united states. the prime minister of the united kingdom has said he supports the president of the united states. though his own government has not voted for it. if i can briefly put this question, if you could give me a brief answer, you're not satisfied with the small coalition that the president has already built? >> no. i'm not. it's 180 nations who agreed to the chemical weapons convention standard. we should have more of a multilateral coalition of partners who are engaged in any type of military action against syria. >> congressman steve horseford, thank you for joining us immediately from that briefing. thank you. >> thank you. >> and thank you so much for
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watching. coming up next, "the ed show" with ed schultz. good evening americans and welcome to "the ed show" live from new york. let's get to work, not war. >> the broader conflict in syria is a threat. >> there's no doubt about who is responsible for this attack. >> i know that the american people are weary after a decade of war. >> nobody expected it until the end of september. >> this assad guy, he's a bad dude. >> you have to expect everything. >> but it's a civil war. >> what do wars give america? >> we're not talking about war. >> if the regime immediately surrendered its stockpiles to international control -- >> turn it over. all of it. without delay. >> that would be an important step. ♪

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